December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas from Some Guy With a Website

Page 1 - Page 2 - Page 3 - Page 4

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:44 AM

In conclusion

Before I put up the Christmas comic and then head out of here, I write one last post about the year. And so:

Thank you to all of you who have read the site and cartoon and decided to, well, repeat the process. This has been an extraordinary year for Some Guy With a Website, the most major event obviously being the book. I'm not John Grisham or anything- I'm not even some dude who's also named John Grisham and as a result tricks a handful of people to buy his books as well- but I'm really happy with the number of copies I've sold. I've gotten some really awesome e-mails about the book- people buying it as gifts, people saying reading it made them miss a train stop, people telling me their favorite strip. Like I said in Attitude 3, there's nothing greater to me out of doing the comic that being told a lot of people are reading it and loving it.

Thanks as always to the folks at Campus Progress, In These Times, the Huffington Post, and Joel Pett at the Los Angeles Times for all their support. Thanks as well to Ali Savino for her tireless efforts in hooking me up with illustration gigs. Thanks to the loads of bloggers with more traffic than me who link to me and thus inflate me ego by way of SiteMeter. Thanks, continuously, to whoever the hell it is who keeps posting my cartoons on StumbleUpon.

We're basically going to head right into next year with the World's Longest Presidential Election Campaign™ and I'm just as thrilled about that as you are. I am nervous and unsure of many things in this world, but none of them are the fear I might not have material to work with for 2008. God help us. God help us all.

Happy holidays, all. See you next year.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:27 AM

December 21, 2007

SCHIP holiday guide

A little flash thingie that I made for the Children's Defense Fund is now up on their website. It's a handy guide for all your holiday dinner political arguments, helping you know what to say about the SCHIP argument. I didn't have time to put in all those ones that involve "Bush is a greedy, hateful assblanket" but I figured you didn't need my help for those. You can also download a PDF of the whole thing if you want to study it on the plane home or whatnot.

As you can probably tell from the earlier post, the Democratic capitulation on SCHIP has, shall we say, peeved me a bit. It's beyond moronic that this is a fight Democrats have given up on, and I'm for anything that encourages them to get the fight back in 'em.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:15 AM

Dear God, protect me from your followers

I'm fairly confident the biggest detriment to the Ron Paul campaign is the people who support him.

I actually don't have a side to pick in this apparent Dana Goldstein vs. Glenn Greenwald vs. Andrew Sullivan argument, I just find the reaction from the PaulBots on all sides amazing. These people really are the quintessential Libertarians- all they seem to do is rise up, en masse, and yell about how everyone on the planet is wrong except them.

I am confused how the Paul people seem to think this is actually a way to win an election. It's as if McDonald's, instead of printing coupons in the newspaper or airing ads on television, devoted their entire marketing budget to spamming every website in America about how unfair it is that not enough people are eating at McDonald's, that you're stupid for not finding McDonald's delicious, and that your dislike of McDonald's is a sign of your unwavering support for Israel.

(Just for the record, the average TAPPED post garners maybe 10, 20 comments on a good day. There's over 100 on Dana's post at the time of writing this, almost all from Ron Paul fanatics. Attacking a subject based on people comenting on their behalf is usually a cheap shot, but given how obvious it is here that someone on a Paul site dispatched the winged monkeys, I say enjoy this voluntary window into the crazy.)

Posted by August J. Pollak at 6:59 AM

December 20, 2007

Thompson

I'm not saying it's completely impossible for him to win, but I continue to be fascinated with how many right-wing bloggers believe Fred Thompson is going to somehow become the Republican nominee. It's possible, but essentially every single poll, survey, trend line, basic observation, and application of common sense would have to be totally and utterly wrong. In addition, at this point such an accomplishment would require a level of political gamesmanship roughly comparable to the last half hour of The Godfather, only without the actual killing. Or maybe with.

In fairness, I would like to admit that at this time four years ago I was writing about how John Kerry would need to pick the Harlem Globetrotters as his running mate to have a chance at winning Iowa, so I acknowledge anything can happen.

I'm very light on making predictions around here, so I really don't have a definite pick. But I will say that my biggest fear continues to be the Republican voting bloc having a deathbed conversion at the caucus and swinging for John McCain on the same "dear god, this is the only one who's electable" line Democrats did in 2004. I wouldn't be surprised at a similar, albiet smaller, response for Edwards. I think it's very possible- far more likely than Fred Thompson suddenly beating everyone- and it's also the worst-case scenario for Democrats. McCain is hands-down the most electable Republican candidate, and he's also totally insane. I don't mean like Huckabee, who's just a right-wing Christian douchebag; I mean he's actually batshit crazy.

After all the talk of fundraising and record money numbers, I think the idea of Edwards and McCain- the two leading candidates who took public financing for the primaries- would be the ultimate F-you to the big-money donors. Untill, of course, a week later when all the 527 group ads start running non-stop.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:05 AM

December 19, 2007

To hell with them

You know, I was teetering over the edge with Reid's insane actions on the FISA bill this week, but after this it's official. A lot of people whine and rant about Congress and it's hyperbole, but I really do mean this: I could care less if the Democrats keep either house of Congress next year.

Dems give up SCHIP fight until the 111th

The Democrats' yearlong fight to boost federal spending on children's health insurance ended with a whimper Tuesday.

After coming up short in their efforts to enact a $35 billion expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) -- enduring two presidential vetoes along the way -- congressional Democrats signed off on Republican demands to extend the program until 2009.

Rather than expiring just before the presidential and congressional elections next year, SCHIP will keep running through March 2009 under the plan originally conceived by House Republicans and hashed out by the Senate Finance Committee and Senate leaders late Monday.

The GOP stood fast against the Democratic bill, which received veto-proof margins in the Senate but came up about a dozen votes shy in the House, despite attracting some GOP support. In doing so, it also stood fast against a multifaceted public relations campaign waged by the Democrats, allied liberal organizations and practically every industry in the healthcare sector. That strategy appears to have paid off, with Democrats abandoning, for now, their plans to ramp up SCHIP.

The GOP claimed victory. "It's certainly another example of the Democrats caving to the Republican position at the eleventh hour," said a spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio).

Not only did the GOP prevent the Democrats from expanding the program, the minority party prevented the majority party from using an SCHIP vote and veto next fall as a wedge issue just before Election Day.

To hell with these people. I have no interest in volunteering for them, and I certainly have no plan to send them money. I really just don't care if they control the House or Senate anymore.

This isn't even bitterness at losing a battle. It's fury over the refusal to even have one. SCHIP is a complete winner- the goddamn bill passed- twice- and was stopped only through Bush's veto. The bill could have been a perfect wedge in the 2008 elections, hitting Republicans hard on health care issues or perhaps- gasp!- actually passed and given health care to millions of uninsured children, the horror!

I have no goddamn clue what is wrong with Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid, and I have no goddamn clue why hardly anyone else in their party is openly asking what the hell is wrong with them. I have yet to see a single indication that the Democrats have any interest in actually winning elections, so you know what? Why the fuck should I?

Democrats really are masters of efficiency. It took twelve years for America to be fed up with Republican control of Congress; it took Democrats eleven months.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:01 AM

December 18, 2007

Defcon 1 on book orders

I got a few last-minute orders today and yesterday for books, and don't get me wrong, I am overwhelmed and grateful for all your support for the book and the cartoon in general.

That said, this is your final warning that the last run to the post office to mail stuff out to all you lovely, wonderful people will be Thursday morning. No orders received after 8:00 PM EST on Wednesday, December 19 will be mailed out until AFTER the New Year's holiday.

In addition, if you are ordering anything between now and 8:00 PM tomorrow night, you must order the extra priority shipping to get your order before December 24.

Sorry for the holiday stress, but once again, thanks so much. Nothing makes me happier than thinking that there are people out there who actually find a copy of something I wrote a worthwhile and enjoyable gift. I'm not being sarcastic; it's really an awesome feeling.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 11:32 AM

Oh my

In the ongoing writer's strike, the sad reality is the Writer's Guild of America has very few power chips to play against the media corporations (AMPTP). However, this is one of them, and it's certainly a big one:

LOS ANGELES - The Writers Guild has notified the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and dick clark productions that their requests for an agreement to allow writers to prepare material for the 65th Annual Golden Globe Awards show have been denied.

The Guild has also denied a request from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for a waiver in connection with the use of clips from motion pictures and past Academy Awards shows for use during the annual Academy Awards presentation.

What this means, basically, is that the WGA is not allowing a "waiver" under the strike rules for content to be produced for the Golden Globes or the Oscars. That means no monologues, no podium statements, no speeches from the production (hosting) end. In addition, the labor laws forbid the producers of the shows from using any WGA-covered material without a waiver. In this case, it's clips of every TV show and movie written by WGA writers (a.k.a. all of them), which means the award shows can't show clips during the ceremony. Finally, if the WGA is denying a strike waiver for the award shows, it would seem to imply that there won't be a waiver on picketing the shows either... meaning actors and showrunners who are WGA members will not attend, and likely many other actors who will be showing solidarity with the WGA (as well as being members of the Screen Actors Guild who are going to face their own contract negotiations next year)

Long story short, there's a very good chance (though ultimately I doubt it) that this could effectively cancel at the very least the telecasts of the award shows, if not the ceremonies completely. But the former is the bigger issue, as they are among the highest ratings draws for the networks, who will likely lose millions paying back advertisers (who pay in advance on the projected ratings of their slots, and are refunded if the network doesn't meet those projections).

I haven't said much about the WGA strike since there's honestly nothing new or original I can add to it that the folks at United Hollywood and Deadline Hollywood Daily don't already put out. But I do think after saying all that it's worth reminding everyone that this is all happening because the media companies do not want to pay writers two cents for episodes purchased over the internet.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 7:10 AM

December 17, 2007

I just don't get it

A rare moment of "oh, right, that" from the lunatics at FreeRepublic:

I hope they do stop [The FISA bill]. I'm not against the monitoring of terrorist activity. I am however against the DOJ having the power to listen in to anyones communications including mine or your without obtaining a probable cause court order first. No I do not trust the DOJ.

Obtaining such does not mean the suspect must be notified. I think I'll file this thread away and see how quick the supporters of this change their minds if say Hillary wins? Does anyone want a DOJ ran by the likes of her with this type authority? I don't sure. The DEM's have better than a 50% chance of a two house and white house majority. Think people think. It's not about a Bush victory it is about surrendering our own rights.

I am legitimately, honestly, truly not leaning toward anyone in the primaries right now. But I have to admit there's a part of me that really enjoys the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency if only for the sudden massive, dare say psychotic passion right-wingers will suddenly take toward defending and enshrining civil liberties.

I really don't get how they all adore stuff like the FISA bill. These are the people who honestly believe the wife of a former president is involved in a massive conspiracy of murder, theft, and corruption that would make the Corleone Family crap its pants, and yet they near climax on a daily basis about the idea of the Executive Branch having untapped, unseen power over every single person in America.

As I've said every now and then for the past year or so, the response to every right-wing moment of glee about the erosion of basic rights should be "yeah, it's going to awesome when Hillary Clinton gets to do this, huh?" and then you watch their skin pale like one of those teeth whitening ads.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:10 PM

"Huckstered"

Latest comic - click here!

The Republican pandering to the religious right is akin to having, as part of your ritual right before going to bed at night, brushing your teeth with a specific toothpaste, putting on a particular color of pajamas, walking down to the garage, siphoning exactly three and a half gallons of gasoline from your car, walking back upstairs, pouring it all over the floor of your bedroom, and then going to sleep by the soft light of the burning cigar you've left on the edge of your night table. This is a perfectly acceptable routine to have- it's a free country after all- but you should be forbidden from any sympathy when you wonder how your house could have possibly burned down.

Such is the case of a certain Mike Huckabee, who has dismayed countless right-wing pundits by having the audacity to believe that if your party spends a good thirty or so years pandering to extreme right-wing Christianist lunatics it might be a perfectly reasonable idea to have one of them actually run for president themselves. This is a slight problem in that when the chickens come home to roost this way the reality of the majority of the country not actually being quasi-Taliban moral fundamentalists leaves a gaping void in the "people who won't vote for us because our candidate is a goddamn lunatic" field. Personally, I'd wager against the guy who wants to send AIDS patients off to a quarantined zone winning a national election, wouldn't you, every sane person in America?

In short, the Republican Party is shocked, shocked, to discover that gambling has been going on in here.

Anyhoo, I'm proud of this cartoon, which is good because it's the last one of the year. That's right, Some Guy With a Websiteis taking a well-deserved (damn straight it is) vacation from strip-making until the week after New Year's. Okay, those of you who are "in the know," of course, know damn well that isn't exactly true. Something grim and horrible swells beneath the ground... no one knows for sure, unless they've read this site for years, but they say it comes at Christmas. But the political "humor" ends for 2007 as of now. Now buy some crap.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:03 AM